Inside Pitch: College Infielder Grace White on Chiropractic Care, Why It’s Beneficial & Video of a Adjustment
Grace White is a college senior who plays first base for Union University, a DII school in Jackson, Tennessee, and is majoring in Journalism. She is the Sports Editor for the Cardinal & Cream, the school’s student publication, and has a younger sister who plays in the Virginia Unity club organization.
In today’s Inside Pitch, Grace shares her experiences and perspectives on chiropractic care and even shows us a video of a recent visit with her chiropractor, Dr. Jake Doster.
If somebody wanted to know a weird fact about me, I’d say that I love watching chiropractor videos on YouTube.
Alex Tubio, Joseph Cipriano, Brent Binder, Doug Willen—you name a chiropractor, and I’ve probably watched at least one of their videos.
I’m not exactly sure what it is that draws me to them time and again, though I think it’s mostly the sound of the cracks and the relief on the patients’ faces when the spot that was bothering them no longer hurts.
Although I’ve been watching chiropractor videos for years, I had never been to a chiropractor myself until this fall.
Let me just say that mentally I may not feel like a senior softball player in college, but physically I definitely do.
My first year, I was fresh and raring to go, but three years of college play will take a toll on your body. My back hurt, my shoulders were tight, and I got headaches that felt like they were coming from somewhere in my neck.
Since beginning to watch the videos, I had always wanted to get adjusted. I would get my sisters or friends to pop my back occasionally but nothing like what I had seen on YouTube. I had just never gotten around to seeing a real chiropractor, and honestly, I didn’t really know where to start.
Thankfully, my boyfriend was already going to Dr. Jake Doster at Jackson Chiropractic in Jackson, Tennessee, so it was pretty easy to get an appointment with him.
The first adjustment I had was great. The cracks and relief were so much better than anything I could get on my own. I was a little sore after the first time, but I drank a bunch of water which helped.
I’ve been going to Jake for several months now, and I’ve gotten to where I can tell when I need an adjustment. It’s pretty cool to be able to understand your body like that.
At one of my sessions, I was able to talk to Jake about the benefits of chiropractic care, in particular for athletes.
“Chiropractic is beneficial to anybody that has a spine,” he said. “If you throw the athletics on top of that, you’re using that spine in a more forceful and, hopefully, a more proficient way.”
“One of the biggest things that chiropractic helps with is obviously mobility of joints and proprioception,” Dr. Doster continue. “Proprioception is the ability for us to tell where our bodies are in space. As an athlete, the more you can control body movements and know how to move, especially when it’s applied to a specific skill such as softball, you’re relying on information coming from your joints to be able to produce whatever action.”
“Obviously, that comes in from the brain from the nervous system, so if your brain tells you to do something but you don’t have the physical capability or the mobility to do that, you’re limiting yourself as an athlete,” the chiropractor continued.
“For any athletics, the ability to free the nervous system up to be able to tell those joints what they’re supposed to do and then the joints be able to react that way is beneficial.”
Knowing that a patient is an athlete and the specific sport that they play is key to helping a chiropractor provide the best possible care.
“I think the No. 1 thing is how I process the information and how I administer that care,” Jake said. “I hope I understand more the stress and the mechanics of how you use your body. That better tells me ‘Okay, that’s why you’re having problem A, B, or C because of this type of stress’ and knowing that ‘Hey, you’re a right-handed hitter. You’re going to open to your left. How is that going to make your hips move differently?’ It makes the treatments that I administer more effective by understanding that.”
For athletes that are looking to start going to a chiropractor, Jake had several tips to help with the search process.
“I think the biggest thing is find someone who has some sort of passion or knowledge of working with athletes,” he said. “Now, you’re not going to go wrong with going in just to get an adjustment, but I think you’re going to get a deeper level of care with someone who has that experience or that additional training. I would also say to make sure not just to go to the first person that you see. Rely on referrals from others and things like that so you’re able to find somebody that works the best for you for what you need.”
Jake was also able to give advice for things that athletes can do on their own to keep themselves as healthy and pain-free as possible.
“The biggest thing you can do is get your spine mobile,” he said. “Your mid-thoracic spine limits a lot, especially for overhead athletes. Keeping that midback moving is key to pressure off neck and shoulders. Things like a chirp wheel are really good to use at home. Anything that you can do to increase flexibility and mobility, yoga is great to do.”
“Getting out and moving and moving in a way that you don’t do in your sport, as well,” he added. “If you’re having pain or you have a lot of practice, make you’re doing what you can to recover nutritionally and make sure that you’re keeping as much stress off your body as you can.”
I’ve learned a lot from Jake, as well as gotten the chiropractic care that I needed. I hope that his advice helps y’all too. Whether you’re seeing a chiropractor or not, it’s good to keep your body moving and do what you can to help it recover well.
I was also able to film my own chiropractic video in one of my visits. I hope y’all enjoy it as much as I did!
Video: an in-office adjustment